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As An Independent Contractor, Are You Paying Enough Taxes?

John Jennings discusses the situation for independent contractors in today’s marketplace, specifically noting their evolving relationship with umbrella organisations and the ongoing issues associated with taxation.


(Wednesday, August 7th, 2013) United Kingdom -  John Jennings tells of how: “Whenever you offer independent contractor services you know that there are certain ways to approach the acquisition of contracts, ways to deal with any terms and conditions laid out by clients and certain other entities that you need to deal with. It’s often the case that you will have to discuss your situation with agencies appointed by the larger corporations and that such agencies may wish to dictate how you are ”set up,“ even though you are independent. Yes, sometimes you truly wonder whether you are independent.”

Host John Jennings says: “In other words, those agencies want to know that you are only dealing with the best umbrella companies in your industry, although up to now we have not seen any particular emphasis on which umbrella company you would be able to select over another one. Recent developments appear to point to a major change in this situation. Some of the bigger agencies are now dictating whether or not you can choose your own umbrella company, or whether you have to use an organisation that is included on their ”preferred supplier lists.“”

At this point John Jennings goes on to say: “Is this a fair approach for the agency to take? Are they unfairly restricting your choice in the independent arena? Isn’t it a fact that freedom of choice was and is a significant factor for you and one of the reasons why you chose to go down this road, rather than to sign up as an employee, per se?”

“You might argue that there is no harm in this approach on behalf of the agencies. Umbrella companies that are seen to be not playing by the rules or who are somehow ”weak“ may be whittled out. From a survival of the fittest mentality this could indeed be the case and no harm, no foul. Yet it is important for the agencies to be open and clear about their reasoning, projections, policies and procedures. Only then can we be sure that said agencies are operating from a stance that is designed to benefit their clients, themselves, the umbrella companies, the independent contractor and government organisations alike.”

John then conveys the idea behind how: “There has always been a bit of a tug-of-war match between advocates who say that nobody is paying enough taxes and those who say we are paying at the very least our fair share. We should be wary of allowing this argument to unfairly target our freedom of choice; in particular that freedom of choice related to our selection of the best umbrella companies, from a truly practical point of view.”

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